Shhhhh don’t tell the Media, Chris Hipkins visits two Partnership Schools

Whaleoil has a scoop that you will not read anywhere else. I was contacted yesterday by two of the charter schools I visited to report the astonishing news that the Labour Party spokesperson for education Chris Hipkins, has finally visited them. Both Vanguard Military school and South Auckland Middle school were visited yesterday by Chris Hipkins.

Both schools have an open door policy to all politicians and a number have accepted their invitation.Chris Hipkins’ office originally made contact with Vanguard Military School on the 26th of April to try and visit on the 27th with just 24 hours notice.  This was in the second week of the school holidays and would have meant no students and no staff at the school.  This offer was declined and his staff was asked to come back to the school with a more suitable date. When Mr Hipkins arrived at Vanguard he was on his own with no aides and no media.

Until yesterday Mr Hipkins was in the astonishing position of having never visited a partnership school despite consistently criticising them for years. I wonder if he told the students he met that his party intend to shut their schools down or force them to become State schools?Perhaps that harsh fact is the reason why he wanted to fly under the radar and the media were not invited?

Prior to actually setting foot in a charter school this is what Chris Hipkins has been saying about charter schools.

April 2016

“Charter schools don’t have a place in the current system. This Bill will establish a transition period for the schools to apply for different status in the system and for families to make different arrangements if needed.

“It’s time to put education first and end this experiment,” says Chris Hipkins.

April 2016

Hipkins said it’s the system that’s broken, not necessarily the people working within it.

“Some of them I think are incredibly well intentioned, and have some good ideas but, I think there’s plenty of opportunity to embrace those and accommodate them within the public school system”.


August 2014

Hipkins: But I do agree with one  point that Hekia just made, which is  it’s not either or. Actually,  smaller class sizes does lead to  better quality teaching. Every  parent knows that the more  one-on-one time their child has with  the teacher, the better the quality  of the learning experience is going  to be. So smaller class sizes  contribute to a number of things  that are really effective. So class  sizes themselves shouldn’t be  isolated out as being a silver  bullet, but they contribute to a  number of other things that will  help to improve student achievement.

But, Chris, you’re going to shut them down? You’re gonna shut down charter schools?

Hipkins: Look, we don’t need the  model of charter schools. They don’t  have employ regi—

So you’ll shut them down?

Hipkins: Yes, absolutely.

So where do these kids go?  Where do these kids go? Because we  know at Vanguard school, they’ve got  discipline issues, and they go there because it has military-style discipline. Where do they go under Labour?

Hipkins: We’ve said we will look at  that on a case-by-case basis. Some  of the people—

Where would the—? But where  would the kids go?

Hipkins: Well, I’m about to tell  you. Just hold your breath for a  second. Some of the people wanting to establish charter schools are actually trying to fill a genuine  gap in the education system, and  we’ll work with them to ensure they  can do that within the existing  state school framework, because  there are options for them within  the existing state school framework. But the charter school  legislation allows school to make a  profit, be set up as profit—

Parata: That’s untrue.

So some charter schools could become state schools?

Hipkins: It’s quite possible that  they could be integrated into the  system or they could work within the  existing state school framework.

I hope that now Chris Hipkins has actually visited two highly successful examples of Charter schools he will backtrack on his position even further. First he said that Labour would “absolutely” shut them down. Then he wavered when asked what would happen to the students and said that,” It’s quite possible that  they could be integrated into the  system or they could work within the  existing state school framework.” Now after seeing for himself that the secret of their success is the freedom they have to do things differently, I hope he will back track even further.

It would make sense for him to continue to backtrack because the Labour Party’s stance on the issue is not popular with their voter base.


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  • Keeping Stock

    Well done Whaleoil. Chris Hipkins has been shamed by this media organisation into holding his nose and visiting SAMS. At least any further comments Hipkins makes on Charter Schools will not be made in total ignorance.

    Kudos to SAMS too for their open door policy with regard to visits by politicians. They are doing a fantastic job for kids who might otherwise be destined to fail, and I applaud them.

  • metalnwood

    I have a suspicion that this will do nothing except let him say he has now visited them when he goes on to say he will shut them down.

    His motivations have nothing to do with education so I don’t see this changing things.

  • Sailor Sam

    Wanting to visit a school during the holidays, whether state or private must be one of the stupidist things a politician could do.
    Does he not now when the school holidays are?

    • Joe Burns

      ’cause he knows!. Parliament only sits during school-time and has a holiday like all the (un)spoilt kids. Except the kids don’t get paid like all those lefty seat-warmers

  • R&BAvenger

    Great to see the open door policy of the Partnership Schools. Also the Maori Party saying they will vote against Labour’s (Hipkins’s) bill. Thank goodness for WOBH reporting on real news!!

  • sheppy

    So presumably the new Labour Policy will be to ensure all charter school get a name change and compulsary union membership to keep his mates at the teachers unions happy? After all he probably only opposes charter schools because his union mates told him to.

    I wonder if this is a sea change for Labour?
    Yesterday they want to team up with National to remove the Auckland Urban Limit, today their visiting charter schools? Have Labour suddenly realised they are unelectable?

    • shykiwibloke

      Wouldn’t that be a nice situation. We need a strong opposition to keep the govt on their toes irrespective of stripe. Not getting close to that at present pretty well anywhere in the western world it seems.

      • sheppy

        Its good as long as it doesn’t allow a coalition of fighting minor parties to get in at the election and force their hidden agendas on us.
        For a start the Melons want to ban everything and spend like a drunken sailor, Winston wants lots of shiny baubles of office, and that’s before Angry even declares what’s on his union paymasters fantasy wishlist. With the global economy the way it is, the lefty induced recession will be both sharp and painful

  • Dave

    Never trust a lion dressed as Mutton. Just as much, never trust a cornered politician such as Hipkins. My concern is with “they could be integrated into the system or they could work within the existing state school framework”

    Loosely translated. We might welcome Charter schools into the state system, then alter their funding to state school levels, then make all teachers registered, then make them adhere to the exsisting teaching methods from 100 years ago, and whatever my union puppet masters demand, but even after that, they will still be known as successful “Charter Schools” just improved by labour.

  • spanishbride

    I am determined to get this story into the MSM and to make sure they have no excuses for not knowing about it I have just been on facebook to notify all of them with one exception. I haven’t contacted the NZ Herald.Watch this space to see if you see this story in print, online or in a paper, on T.V or on radio. I wouldn’t hold your breath.
    EDIT: Maybe I should be cheeky and let The Labour Party FB page know what Chris has been up to ;)

    • Keeping Stock

      Send an e-mail to your good pal Andrew Little SB.

  • cows4me

    It’s of great importance the mindless socialist drones control education. Hell if they can’t instill the warped ideology upon the young there will be more than a missing million come election times.

  • axeman

    He is being forced to admit he was wrong, along side the Maori Party going to vote against his private members bill so it will be defeated.

  • PhantomsDoc

    OK, I’m going to take this one step further:

    Is Chris’s visit to these schools a bloody nose to those in Labour towing the parties unionist line? Is it a snub at Andrew Little and the far left of the party that is reducing, day by day, Labour’s ground base support?

    First of all support for Nationals stance on Auckland (no matter how they spin it) then a visit to charter schools. Is it a co-incidence? Also, how will Andrew respond to the Hagman’s later today?

    Is his goose cooked? We will find out if Chippy changes his stance on charter schools.

    • Keyser Soze

      Chippy IS the far left of the party!

  • Dan

    Thate is a subtle hint in the photo above that many would miss, but I believe it speaks volumes of why Charter Schools are a success. I noticed it because I have been a middle management teacher and it is this.


    The bane of teachers and students everywhere are socks. “PULL YOUR SOCKS UP” But what this school does is have short white socks so there is nothing to pull up and therefore focus is made on things that matter.

    Subtle I know but quite symbolic IMO No doubt just one small thing of a raft of other inconsequential things that removes the barrier between teacher and learner and creates a happy learning environment for the kids.

    • Andy

      You are so right. My son was skipping detentions. I had to attend meetings with the DP and dean about it. What was lost in all the punishment and discussions about next steps was the original detentions were all about socks. Ridiculous.

  • Vutekno

    I don’t understand why he needed to be so surreptitious about these visits. I would have thought it would be seen as a positive that an opposition MP who has been so strident about the wrongness of Charter schools would visit and see first hand.

    But I guess, given the twisted way of thinking that seems be this Labour Party’s way. There is no way that would happen.

    That this has yet to be reported by the MSM further displays how biased they are!
    Edit word added